Federal Government, NLC continue Talks to Avert Potential Strike – Amidst the mounting tensions and the looming 21-day ultimatum issued by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Federal Government has stepped forward, initiating discussions over post-subsidy removal palliatives for workers. With the clock ticking, both parties are pledging to address and find resolutions to the demands before the looming deadline.
In a press briefing following a closed-door meeting in Abuja, Mr. Simon Lalong, Minister of Labour and Employment, shed light on the ongoing discussions. This meeting, convened by Lalong, aimed to address and potentially stave off the NLC’s planned strike and other related concerns. It’s pertinent to note that the NLC’s strike threat stems from the perceived hardships the masses might face due to the removal of the fuel subsidy.
“Today’s discussions saw us addressing numerous items presented by the NLC. While a final agreement hasn’t been reached, many of the points are actively under consideration,” Mr. Lalong remarked.
Mr. Lalong underscored the Federal Government’s commitment to addressing workers’ concerns, acknowledging the genuine grievances that ignited the current situation. He emphasized that the government aims to address these grievances in a just and equitable manner. However, he also highlighted the need for the NLC to be cognizant of the country’s economic landscape when advocating for the well-being of workers.
“In our pursuit to enhance the lives of our workforce, we must strike a balance that both bolsters economic growth and ensures sustainable progress for Nigeria,” the Minister added. He further urged the labour community to collaborate with the government, exploring strategies that not only improve working conditions but also foster a flourishing economy.
NLC President, Mr. Joe Ajaero, provided further insights, confirming that both parties are committed to ongoing discussions, hoping to reach a meaningful agreement before the ultimatum’s conclusion. He also touched upon the recent issues with the Nigeria Police and the National Union of Road Transport Workers, emphasizing the collective agreement to seek resolutions.
Ajaero candidly remarked, “While today’s discussions were amicable, we must acknowledge that there are still unaddressed concerns. Refineries remain non-operational, and no agreement has been reached on wage awards. Our hope is that, even with limited time left, we can delve deep into these challenges.”
In a hopeful conclusion, Ajaero added, “Whenever summoned, we’ll be present. Both parties are geared towards achieving these objectives before the ultimatum’s final minute.”
As the clock ticks and the nation watches, the dialogues between the Federal Government and the NLC will play a crucial role in shaping the immediate future of Nigeria’s labour landscape.